Student Talent Development

The following education tip provides inspiration to write Chapter 'Student Talent Development' of the Faculty Monitor. If applicable, separate suggestions are given for the PLAN and the DO.

Plan

The faculty pursues a policy that is focused on maximizing opportunities for all students. Indicate below the initiatives organized and/or supported by the faculty, e.g. with regard to: 

  • the transition from secondary to higher education;
  • study progress measures;
  • orientation and remediation measures;
  • study progress measures for disadvantaged groups;
  • (students with) special statutes;
  • honours programmes

The faculty/study programme is acquainted with the starting competencies of incoming students. The faculty/study programme clearly communicates on the necessary/desirable prior knowledge students should have before they enrol in a certain study programme.

The faculty/study programme has an appropriate and easily accessible offer of study and curriculum counselling. Some of these counselling activities are organized at faculty level and are therefore offered across the different study programmes.

The faculty and study programmes monitor their students’ success rate

The faculty stimulates and facilitates the implementation of different curricular options, e.g. by means of main subjects, majors/minors, a range of elective course units or elective modules, internships, … . 

Taking into account an intake of students coming from other academic or professional (i.e. university college) study programmes, the faculty/study programmes can offer preparatory and/or bridging programmes. Those programmes are regularly updated based on stakeholder input. Students taking preparatory or bridging programmes need specific information, counselling and monitoring. Among them, a considerable group consists of students with (part-time) jobs, working their way through university. Study programmes might facilitate these students’ learning tracks by offering e.g. distance learning, blended learning, customised timetables for classes or practicals, etc. 

It is also possible to offer a specific preparatory learning track for non-Dutch-speaking newcomers.

For a couple of years the UGent has been paying attention to 3 important core topics in education: sustainability, entrepreneurship, and social engagement. Faculties and programmes are encouraged to think about how these 3 topics could be implemented into education.

The faculty/study programmes pay attention to the development and improvement of students’ academic linguistic proficiency. This is realized by means of a well-considered language policy which aims at higher order skills such as structuring, substantiation, critical reflection, analysis, and synthesis.  

The Department of Infrastructure and Facility Management, the Department of Student Facilities, and the Department of Information and Communication Technology play an important role in making university facilities easily accessible to all students. The faculty/study programme, in turn, provides (computer) rooms, printing and copying facilities, Wi-Fi, course distribution services, infrastructure for activating learning methods, study rooms, accessibility of their campuses and classrooms, etc...

Do

Examples: 

  • talent development through (faculty) honours programmes: there is a university-wide offer of various honours programmes. The following honours programmes are currently open to students from different faculties: the Quetelet Colleges (all faculties), the Breaking Frontiers Programme (gamma-faculties), the Humanities in Society Programme (alpha-faculties);
  • the faculty runs monitoring processes to ensure that the information on the required starting competencies provided in brochures, on websites, during SID-ins, info sessions, … is at all times accurate and up to date;  
  • the faculty raises awareness among (prospective) students to take the SIMON test,
  • the faculty pursues a policy and corresponding communication initiatives with regard to starting competency assessment, like e.g. predictive models, study orientation tests, science test, etc…);
  • the faculty pursues a policy and corresponding communication initiatives concerning preparatory courses (e.g. summer courses in chemistry, mathematics, physics, languages, etc…);
  • the faculty pursues a policy and corresponding communication initiatives concerning student counselling (including such initiatives as the buddy programme), and concerning subject-specific counselling, mock exams, individual counselling or group counselling, feedback on evaluations, etc;
  • to optimize the first-year success rates, that first year (1BA) is treated with utmost care. In the 2015 reform of flexibilization in higher education it was laid down that course units in 1BA should be programmed carefully and taught by experienced and excellent teachers. Faculties and study programmes are therefore asked to allocate first-year course units to their most experienced and enthusiastic lecturers; 
  • the implementation of full-year course units has been made possible again in 1BA, including compulsory partial exams and the assurance that the results count in the total mark. Students who do not pass these partial exams, are given the possibility to resit the entire exam in June. That way students who need more time to adapt to university during the first months are given a second chance, and are often demoralised by the poor examination mark of the first semester and are sometimes immediately referred to the resit examination period. (ask whether this is still the case? OER)
  • the faculty/study programme achieves a good success rate of students after BA1. The programme also monitors the time to graduation for both the BA and MA degree  and implements a specific improvement policy to this end.
  • the faculty pursues a policy that accommodates students with a special status. Students may be granted a special status on the grounds of a functional impairment, approved top-level sports activities, professional artistry, holding office, exceptional social or personal circumstances, student entrepreneurship, or being a foreign-language speaker. For more information, consult the Education and Examination Code. One or more facilities may be granted, depending on the grounds on which the special status was given. 
  • faculties ensure that their staff is well-informed about the procedures and consequences of awarding special status. Faculties and study programmes are expected to honour the facilities as much as possible. The faculty/study programme ensures that it communicates clearly and transparently when it comes to implementing facilities. Should faculties/study programmes be unable to offer certain facilities, they build up an adequate argumentation to prove this; 
  • the faculty/study programme provides (computer) rooms, printing and copying facilities, Wi-Fi, course distribution services, infrastructure for activating learning methods, study rooms, (wheelchair) accessibility of their campuses and classrooms, etc...

UGent Practices

Last modified April 1, 2021, 1:37 p.m.